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Four New RNAi-Related Patent Applications Published By US Patent Office: Apr 9, 2004


Title: Methods and Compositions for Therapeutic Use of RNA Interference. Number: 20040063654. Filed: May 15, 2003. Lead Inventor: Mark Davis, California Institute of Technology.

The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, “provides methods and compositions for attenuating expression of a target gene in vivo. In general, the method includes administering RNAi constructs (such as small-interfering RNAs that are targeted to particular mRNA sequences, or nucleic acid material that can produce siRNAs in a cell) in an amount sufficient to attenuate expression of a target gene by an RNA interference mechanism, e.g. in a sequence-dependent, PKR-independent manner,” the abstract adds.

“In particular, the subject method can be used to alter growth, survival, or differentiation of cells for therapeutic and cosmetic purposes,” the abstract states.

The application specifically claims a “respiratory formulation comprising RNAi constructs formulated for pulmonary or nasal delivery of a therapeutically effective amount of [the] RNAi constructs to the lungs.”

The application also claims a method of coating a medical device, specifically a stent, with RNAi constructs, such that the constructs are eluted from the device’s surface when implanted in the body.

Title: Gibberellin 2-Oxidase Gene, Functions, and Uses Thereof. Number: 20040060080. Filed: March 18, 2003. Lead Inventor: Hiroshi Tanaka, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences.

The patent application, its abstract states, covers an invention designed to “provide DNAs encoding novel plant proteins having a gibberellin 2-oxidation activity. Another objective is to modify plant height by utilizing these DNAs for regulating the gibberellin content,” the abstract adds.

“PCR was performed using degenerate primers, and novel OsGA2ox2 and OsGA2ox3 genes were obtained,” the abstract states. “The present inventors discovered that, unlike products of other GA2-oxidases … the product of OsGA2ox3 catalyzes the two-step oxidation of GA20 to GA29 and then of GA29 to GA29-catabolite.”

The abstract notes that the inventors “also found that the growth of the transgenic rice plants expressing OsGA2ox3 was suppressed as compared to control plants.”

The application specifically claims DNAs encoding an “RNA that suppresses the expression of a DNA … in plant cells via RNAi.”

Title: Methods for Global Profiling Gene Regulatory Element Activity. Number: 20040058356. Filed: April 30, 2003. Lead Inventor: Mary Warren, Genpathway.

The invention, according to the patent application’s abstract, “provides methods for profiling, in a global manner, the activity of gene regulatory elements in cells, including eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells.”

The abstract states that “the methods involve analysis of regulatory element complexes formed under cell-free conditions or within cells. In gene regulatory element activity, profiles generated for the cells in different cell populations are compared to determine differences in gene regulatory activity and overall gene expression between or among different types or states of cells,” it adds.

The patent application notes that the gene regulatory elements include DNA, RNA, single-stranded DNA, single-stranded RNA, double-stranded DNA, double-stranded RNA, genomic DNA, complementary DNA, DNA complementary to RNA, modified DNA, and modified RNA.

Title: Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptors and Methods of Their Use. Number: 20040058849. Filed: July 3, 2003. Lead Inventor: Matthew Sleeman, Genesis Research and Development.

The invention, the patent application’s abstract states, includes “isolated fibroblast growth factor receptor polypeptides and polynucleotides encoding such polypeptides.”

The abstract states that the invention also comprises “modulators of FGFR5 gene expression and binding molecules that specifically bind to and agonize or antagonize FGFR5 polypeptide function. Specific binding molecules include antibodies, functional fragments thereof, as well as scFv and Camelidae heavy chain IgG that specifically bind to FGFR5 thereby modulating the activity of FGFR5 and, thus, are effective agents suitable for the treatment of diseases such as osteopontin-mediated autoimmune disease, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, bone disorders including osteoporosis and osteopetrosis, and cancers, including cellular carcinomas such as hepatocellular carcinomas,” it notes.

The patent application specifically claims a FGFR5 gene expression modulator selected from a group including “small interfering RNA molecule[s].”

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